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who gets into AOA

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by take the shot, Jan 18, 2012.

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  1. take the shot

    take the shot

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    I was wondering about being elected to AOA: do med schools really just elect the top 10-20 students based on class rank? Or are there other factors that matter?
  2. MrBigglesworth

    MrBigglesworth Meow

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    Each school has different set of rules. Some are objective (grades and test scores), whereas others are based on grades + peer recommendations.
    Best thing to do is ask an administrator or upper classmen. Good luck :luck:
  3. Phenytoin

    Phenytoin

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    Most schools use grades from years 1 and 2 ( even if P/F they may keep an internal record of them) and 3rd year clerkships. The clinical rotations are the most important factor at most schools, which can be unfortunate considering the subjectivity of evaluations. Some schools also look at boards. If students cannot be selected due to similarities, other factors such as volunteering and research could come into play but that is more an exception than the rule.
    Good luck.
  4. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side

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    It really varies so much. Junior AOA was announced at my school halfway through 3rd year and it seemed like it was only based on preclinical grades. 3rd year grades were essential for senior AOA
  5. VisionaryTics

    VisionaryTics Señor Member

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    Our school's criteria:

    Junior AOA: Must be in top 25% of class regarding Step 1 (50%) and preclinical grades (50%). A certain number of students is then selected, factoring in some other criteria, but mostly those two numbers.

    Senior AOA: Must be in top 25% of class regarding core clerkships (50%), Step 1 (25%), and preclinical grades (25%). A certain number of students is then selected.
  6. nburnett3

    nburnett3 MS-3

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    This may be a stupid quesiton, but what's the difference between the two other than the year? Is Junior AOA considered more prestigious when applying for residency?
  7. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side

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    At my school junior AOA is announced in January of M3 and senior AOA in December of M4. So senior AOA is usually too late to help for obtaining interviews but it can help in matching (updating your ERAS profile and/or notifying programs of your selection through an email to the PC)
  8. Dirt

    Dirt From the earth.

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    Our school states that extra-curriculars matter but what they really mean is that if you f*ck up you won't get it.

    It is mostly based on grades. If you check the AOA website it actually lists some rules that chapters must abide by.

    http://www.alphaomegaalpha.org/how.html
  9. paintballdoc

    paintballdoc

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    Nburnett, my understanding is that Junior AOA is more prestigious. I have heard from a past derm resident that her school's Chair would not consider a candidate unless junior AOA.

    Keep in mind, that I was not AOA, so I am not part of the "club".
  10. nburnett3

    nburnett3 MS-3

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    Gotcha, thanks guys.
  11. Mortal_Lessons

    Mortal_Lessons H.Perowne

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    I was elected to junior AOA and have had the chance to sit in on AOA election meetings, where candidates are discussed and chosen. At our school, you need to meet certain academic requirements, as have been stated above. At the meetings, however, all we are told is that these are the individuals meeting the requirements, and then each student is presented in a powerpoint slide, where their relevant extracurricular activities are discussed. Then the floor is open for fellow AOA students/faculty to add any personal input they have had in their interactions with the student. If the student is well-liked then they are likely to be voted into AOA. My point is to highlight the fact that while the student must meet the academic criteria, this only guarantees discussion at the meeting. But it is actually the extracurriculars/personal vignettes that will lead to election.
  12. Substance

    Substance

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    I would bet that, just as in real life, the more successful applicants are:

    1. Tall
    2. White
    3. If a woman, stereotypically sexy
    4. Upper-class
    5. Related to someone important

    Maybe not all of these are true, but I bet at least one is. Just as with anything involving subjectivity, the soft factors like sexiness and family connections are the most important things.
  13. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side

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    Interesting.

    Our elections for Senior AOA were elections in name only as no one (not Junior AOA members not even the President and not faculty members) had any say. It was solely based on grades
  14. rad0nc

    rad0nc

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    This is a very sketchy way to do AOA selections. At our school the names of all the candidates are wiped from the files so each candidate is 'anonymous'.
  15. SGuttenberg

    SGuttenberg

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    What bothers me is that residencies love using AOA to rank/screen candidates despite how arbitrary the selection process is at some schools. AOA from one school doesn't mean the same thing as AOA from another.

    The above poster mentioned discussing candidates by name which is extremely shady. I bet the friends of AOA members and lapdog students of faculty voters get inducted much more frequently there.
  16. Mortal_Lessons

    Mortal_Lessons H.Perowne

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    Several posters following my post on my school's selection process have raised interesting points. I definitely think better looking, more sociable students are favored and also think it helps to have a strong faculty advocate within the election body, thus favoring those with an 'inside' connection. However, despite this arbitrariness to the process, all the discussed candidates meet the minimum academic requirements. While I believe the most fair and objective way to elect candidates would be to strictly look at grades and literally go from the top of the list down, the mission of AOA is to elect student leaders, etc. and this is best captured not only by objective criteria such as grades but also interpersonal qualities that are subjective in nature.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  17. VisionaryTics

    VisionaryTics Señor Member

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    Agreed. I think the idea of a med school's best and best brightest is more accurately represented by somebody who is involved, passionate, and a visible participant in their school, beyond just having great grades.
  18. Phenytoin

    Phenytoin

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    Although I can understand the frustration that a subjective selection can cause, students need to realize that being a good physician is much more than being a good test taker. Don't get me wrong, grades and boards are definitely important, and they are used at most schools to select "selectable" candidates but including other qualities in the election process is not unreasonable.
  19. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side

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    It's not unreasonable but there's a huge difference in valuable EC's making a difference in the selection process vs butt kissing.

    A high ranking faculty member liking you shouldn't influence selection IMO.
  20. take the shot

    take the shot

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    Mortal_Lessons, thanks for the inside scoop. But given you were Junior AOA I was wondering if you also happened to be in the top 6 of your class. Thanks!
  21. bamtuba

    bamtuba

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    Can't wait to check that "school has no AOA" box...
  22. SDEM2012

    SDEM2012

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    We only have senior AOA to take out the potential complications of having junior AOA members choose their classmates. Ours is announced a few days before applications are due, though, so it goes in with ERAS. Our school doesn't have pre-clinical grades, so they invite the top 25% of the class (based on step 1, rotation grades, evals, etc) to submit an application and CV, and then they choose half of those peeps.
    I did ok in the first two years, but rocked my clinical years and had a bunch of extra-curriculars/research and was selected, so don't give up hope if you're not killing every exam.
  23. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    retracting post
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  24. Sheldor

    Sheldor

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    Just as a brief aside, it is my understanding that each chapter decides how they will select new members. For example, my school has us give them a CV and there is a class vote. I'm sorry your school didn't take into account your ECs, but ultimately each chapter through the years has decided what they think is important to consider.
  25. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    retracting
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  26. projectlogic

    projectlogic

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    [youtube]Dkv0KCR3Yiw[/youtube]
  27. tfc

    tfc timidforestcreature

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    No offense, but your school's AOA selection process sounds like a complete joke. Thank you for being candid about the selection process.
  28. SteinUmStein

    SteinUmStein

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    Yeah, kind of sounds like a popularity contest. The most popular students aren't always the best leaders, even if they were involved in literally everything. Feels like high school all over again... :laugh:
  29. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    Retracting
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  30. bad virus

    bad virus

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    Hey man,

    You sound like a hard working cool cat. Don't worry about things like this and don't let it get to you. I know it's easy for me to say that, but truth be told, your record will speak for itself. You sound like a hard working decent guy and you will get what you want if you just kick back and relax.

    I remember a quote:

    "Does your problem have a solution? - If yes, then why are you worrying about it? If no, then why are you worrying about it."

    Good luck with it all and just keep doing what your doing. The only thing to keep in mind, is never let dem bastards ruin your day no matter what. No one should ever have that much control over you.
  31. iliketurt1es

    iliketurt1es

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    So if you go to a P/F school, basically your classmates (junior AOA) just choose the most popular people who they personally like the best. Great.
  32. tfc

    tfc timidforestcreature

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    I like your attitude man. Great post. Everyone should keep this in mind.:thumbup:
  33. Phyozo

    Phyozo

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    This is society, not just high school. It has nothing to do with being the best leader and everything to do with popularity. Look how our nation's leaders are elected.

    I sure wish I was tall / white / good looking / eloquent / knew someone famous. For now I'll just settle for average.
  34. ArcGurren

    ArcGurren only one will survive

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    So when you take out all the BS this is pretty much what it boils down to for my school

    1. First, filter out anyone who didn't get all preclinical honors (this is all for junior AOA)
    2. Of those, ~10 get the nomination or less. These are filtered by step 1 score and leadership amongst other things.

    The interesting thing is of the people who are AOA members at my school, only about 15-25% per year are actually interested in any of the absurdly competitive specialties like derm or plastics or neurosurgery. Otherwise many actually do end up going for things like medicine, med/peds, or peds.

    In the end, being part of AOA may help you a little, but it won't make or break matching into most specialties and you can still match at many good programs without being AOA.
  35. rino97

    rino97

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    Hey. I just found out about AOA today. I go to a small school and have always wanted to be a surgeon. After taking neuro, I'm interested in neurosurgery. I have done average on all my tests except one. I think I finally know how to study for these exams. In short, I'm certain that my grades will improve but I don't think I will get AOA. Do I need to rethink my specialty or can I make up for this on the step 1?
  36. SlickNickMD

    SlickNickMD

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    Senior AOA would be nice and achievable based on my step 1 score and preclinical/clinical grades but people in my class are overachievers, smh:rolleyes:
  37. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man

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    I don't know what things are like now, but I can tell you that years ago when I was in school it was a very political, back room muttering, closed door affair. It was also almost exclusively a primary care mutual admiration and masturbation society. As an outsider, I didn't stand a chance. I didn't even pretend to play the game. Oddly a couple of these knuckleheads came up to me and said, "I'm surprised you and X (another high performing unapologetic outsider) are not AOA". Nice try princess but it takes more than that to shatter my ego.
    It's a feather in your cap, but it's certainly not the end of the world if you're not selected. Ultimately I think Chief Resident is a bigger accomplishment and it might actually help you get your competitive fellowship and land a job. It means you've got the skills to do the job and the maturity and leadership skills for significant additional responsibility, mentorship, etc.
    Good luck.

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